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Teenage killers who murdered boy, 16, with 24-inch machete, filmed the attack on their phones and played the footage to a crowd at a party for ‘glory’ are jailed


A gang of teenagers who murdered a 16-year-old boy filmed the attack on their phones before playing the footage to a crowd at a party ‘for glory’, a court heard.

Dray Simmonds, 20, Joshua Edgington, 20, Corey Burkitt, 17, and Leroy Robinson, 16, ambushed Joseph Riches in broad daylight on July 15 last year.

Joseph, 16, was set upon by the group after he had initially tried to attack two people with a screwdriver in Stourbridge, West Midlands. 

In the ambush schoolboy Joseph was stabbed with a 24-inch machete and was filmed on a mobile phone as he bled to death.

Simmonds, who was 19 at the time, inflicted the fatal blow but his three accomplices were convicted of murder on a joint enterprise basis. 

Schoolboy Joseph Riches (pictured) was stabbed with a 24-inch machete and was filmed on a mobile phone as he bled to death in Stourbridge, West Midlands

Schoolboy Joseph Riches (pictured) was stabbed with a 24-inch machete and was filmed on a mobile phone as he bled to death in Stourbridge, West Midlands

His killers went to a party later that evening where footage of the moment he was stabbed with a machete was 'played to the crowd'. Picture shows Dray Simmonds, 20, of Dixon Green Road, Dudley, who delivered the killing blow

His killers went to a party later that evening where footage of the moment he was stabbed with a machete was ‘played to the crowd’. Picture shows Dray Simmonds, 20, of Dixon Green Road, Dudley, who delivered the killing blow

Justice Wall said all four were compliant in the attack, even though Simmonds and Edgington (pictured) were the 'prime movers'

Justice Wall said all four were compliant in the attack, even though Simmonds and Edgington (pictured) were the ‘prime movers’

Burkitt and Robinson – who were both 16 at the time of the terrifying attack – could not be named during their murder trial due to legal reasons because of their age. 

Reporting restrictions have now been lifted by the judge at Coventry Crown Court, which means they can finally be identified. 

The four killers were locked up for a combined total of 72 years on Thursday.

Joseph, from Bartley Green, Birmingham, was in Stourbridge town centre with friends on the day of his murder, the court heard, when he spotted another group of teenagers and ran up to them at the bottom of High Street.

Joseph attacked two of them with a screwdriver before attempting to get into a car with his friends which had pulled up alongside him, jurors were told.

But the teenager struggled to get into the car and ran off along Coventry Street as he was chased. Joseph was then attacked himself, suffering a fatal blow to the chest.

He managed to get to his feet and got into the car with his friends who had driven up Coventry Street to meet him. His lifeless body was later discovered in the car which had been abandoned four miles away on Orchard Close, Rowley Regis.

The murderers also rushed away from the scene, later going to a party and staying the night together.

It was at a party later that evening where footage of the moment he was stabbed with a machete was ‘played to the crowd’.

Judge Mr Justice Wall said he could only conclude the reason for showing the video was to ‘glory in it’.

On Thursday, Simmonds, of Dudley, West Midlands, was jailed for life with a minimum term of 21 years at Coventry Crown Court.

Edgington, of Winson Green, Birmingham, was jailed for life to serve a minimum of 21 years and 24 months to run concurrently for the bladed weapon.

Burkitt, of Smethwick, and Robinson, of Dudley, were handed 15 year and 15-and-a-half year minimum terms.

Justice Wall said all four were compliant in the attack, even though Simmonds and Edgington were the ‘prime movers’.

He said after an initial altercation where Mr Riches attacked them with a screwdriver, there was a chase where Edgington reached him first and ‘took him down’. 

The scene of the crime on Coventry Street, Stourbridge on July 15, 2023

The scene of the crime on Coventry Street, Stourbridge on July 15, 2023

Leroy Robinson, 16, of Kew Drive, Dudley, West Midlands, has been detained for life with a minimum term of 15-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of murder

Leroy Robinson, 16, of Kew Drive, Dudley, West Midlands, has been detained for life with a minimum term of 15-and-a-half years after he was found guilty of murder

Corey Burkitt - who was 16 at the time of the terrifying attack - could not be named during the murder trial due to his age

Corey Burkitt – who was 16 at the time of the terrifying attack – could not be named during the murder trial due to his age

He said: ‘He then filmed as Simmonds struck far more than one blow to the chest and the heart – the pathologist in the case said there was considerable force used to sensitive areas which was likely to end in death.

‘It resulted in Mr Riches lying on the ground in a pool of blood and being kicked by one of the other of the group whilst all the time it was filmed.

‘Later on there was a party which all four attended and footage was played at it, I can only conclude it was to glory in it there is no other reason it was only stopped when it was learned that Mr Riches had died.’

The judge said all four defendants were compliant in the murder as they all knew of the weapon, a machete which was two feet long with serrated and smooth edges.

He said: ‘Simmonds had the machete in his clothing after it was brought four days earlier by Edgington and they passed it round to each other but all of the group knew of its existence and control over how it was used.

‘But Simmonds and Edgington were the prime movers and most closely connected to the actual act.

‘They had the knife, they were the oldest of the group and they chased Mr Riches first of all.

Justice Wall said after an initial altercation where Mr Riches attacked them with a screwdriver, there was a chase where Edgington reached him first and 'took him down'

Justice Wall said after an initial altercation where Mr Riches attacked them with a screwdriver, there was a chase where Edgington reached him first and ‘took him down’

Flower tributes were left near the scene following the murder

Flower tributes were left near the scene following the murder

‘The whole incident was sparked by Mr Riches causing minor injuries with a screwdriver, it is recognised he acted first but what went on after was wholly disproportionate with what had gone on before.

‘A young man has lost his life and his family have been left devastated.

‘Those who choose to take weapons out on the street and are prepared to use them risk the escalation of violence which we saw on that July afternoon which resulted in death.’

Joseph’s mother, Sarah, described in a statement following the case how she was still trying to come to terms with her son’s death.

She said: ‘Joseph was an amazing young man who had the world at his fingertips. He was kind, funny, caring, loyal and compassionate.

‘His murder has left a huge hole in the lives of his family and friends and he will be forever loved and missed by us all.

‘I will never forgive and never forget.’

Detective Chief Inspector Laura Harrison, from West Mildands Police’s homicide unit, added: ‘This is another young life lost to knife crime.

‘Only those involved will know the reason for the attack, but no doubt it was not worth the price of a life, or the lengthy sentences that those convicted are facing.’



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